It is said that we are the most free as children and young adults to think and pursue our imaginative thoughts. This becomes less true as you age, probably because responsibilities become your priorities. However, there is a danger in not living imaginatively past your youth, and it is that you will never truly be fulfilled. (from : Get off the Sidewalk and Get on the Highway: Living a Dynamic Life by R.O. Bray)
Is a bold word 'as' meaning 'when'?
Can I replace the first sentence with "It is said that we are the most free, when we are children and young adults, to think and pursue our imaginative thoughts."?